Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) announces it has received an updated resource estimate for the Birch Lake copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit, one of three NI 43-101 verified resources identified so far at its Duluth Complex project in Northern Minnesota.
Based on a Net Smelter/processing Return (NSR) cut-off of US$30/tonne, Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (Scott Wilson RPA) estimates an Indicated Resource of 176.8 million tonnes. This represents a 35% increase in the amount of Indicated Resources from the previous 2009 estimate (see news release of September 23, 2009) of 131.2 million tonnes. In addition, Scott Wilson RPA also estimated an Inferred Resource of 39.9 million tonnes. The increase in resources is a result of 2010 drilling, which expanded the width of the deposit, and the re-interpretation of Main Zone (deposit) thickness.
The increase in the size of the Indicated Resource represents a significant increase in the amount of contained metal delineated in the deposit.
Brian Gavin, President and CEO of Franconia, said, "With this significant increase of the Indicated Resource at Birch Lake, we have reached an important benchmark. The results of the latest drilling and the resource update can now be used in the preparation of a pre-feasibility program for an underground project at Birch Lake, which also includes ongoing metallurgical, geologic, environmental and waste characterization studies."
The latest estimate takes into account all drilling conducted to date at Birch Lake, which comprises 86 holes and 137 associated wedge offsets, totaling 80,790 meters (265,058 ft.). This includes the 11 holes for 29,237.5 feet drilled in 2010 (see news release dated August 25, 2010). Drilling to date has not fully defined the limits of the deposit, which lies approximately 2,000 ft beneath the surface, and measures approximately 9,100 ft by 3,300 ft at an average thickness of 138 ft (maximum thickness is 320ft).
Mr. Gavin added, "Given that, the drill results also suggest that a significant mineralized trend in the central portion of the deposit has not been closed off at either end. Two additional similar trends in the southern portion of the deposit have also been identified. Another zone in the northern portion of the deposit, underlying Birch Lake, also remains open. Potential for continued expansion of the Birch Lake deposit is excellent."
The new estimate was prepared by Richard Routledge, of Scott Wilson RPA, an appropriately qualified person according to National Instrument 43-101. A Technical Report supporting this estimate, prepared to NI 43-101 standards.
Source: Franconia Minerals Corporation